The Serenity Prayer is not mentioned in the Bible; however, many underlying principles can easily be found in Scripture. Scripture is clear that we are to be both active and passive in the face of trials and tribulations. Active in changing what needs to be changed while being passive in the sense of allowing the Holy Spirt to guide and direct us according to the Father’s will and plan.
Luc Bovines (Professor of Philosophy at the University of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill) says that “Hope lies between active change and passive acceptance.” I consider this to be fulfilled for believers as the Shalom of Christ.
In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Following His resurrection, Jesus meets with His disciples and repeats to them, “Peace be with you”(John 20:19,21,26). This concept of peace has a fullness of meaning that goes beyond the general usage of the word in today’s world. Reflection on the Hebrew term shalom can help us understand this fullness.
Shalom most commonly refers to a person being uninjured and safe, whole and sound. It is also a key word for salvation in the Bible. In the New Testament it is revealed as the reconciliation of all things to GOD through the work of Christ (Colossians 1:19-20). The Shalom of Christ is experienced as a form of well-being flowing from GOD to ourselves and others. This state of well-being results from seeking the kingdom of GOD as a priority in our lives (Matthew 6:33). As we choose to seek GOD’s kingdom the Holy Spirit will lead us deeper into that kingdom. The courage and wisdom involved in this process lends itself to the serenity we seek.
Shalom, Pastor Bill.